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It's every guy's nightmare. You meet a beautiful girl and things are going well, when suddenly little details begin to nag at you: Her skin is always perfect, she never farts and how the hell can she afford a gigantic New York apartment while working as an under-appreciated secretary in a man's world? The answer: She's starring in a romantic comedy and now you are too. But all is not lost! Follow this advice and you can throw off sensitive smiles and hilariously misunderstand your way to a happy ending.

1
Meeting a Girl

In the world of romantic comedies, any crazy girl you encounter could be your perfect match. No matter how ridiculous or creepy she seems when you meet, don't let her go without organizing a date. For instance, if the woman audibly berates herself for screwing something up, it is simply the sign of an intelligent and beautiful modern woman under stress, and not, like in the real world, a sign of a woman who will take you home to an alphabetized collection of Polaroids of every man who's ever fucked her over.

Love can conquer all boundaries, so pursue a relationship whether she's your maid, half-cousin or student. Unlike the real world, where you will find a lawsuit, chromosomal damage or criminal charges, respectively, frowned-upon sexual relationships will only serve to make your bond that much stronger.

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2
The First Date

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES utter a single hilarious sentence that highlights a flaw in your character. This means you are part of montage of "failed dates" and will never be seen again.

Don't worry about choosing a good restaurant for the first date-the scene will cut directly to after the meal when you're talking over wine anyway. No matter how beautiful the girl, the audience doesn't want to watch you masticate. Um, we said MASTICATE, but they don't want to watch you do that either.

If your first date involves a large amount of drinking and you wake up together, don't worry about the fact that despite a night of alcohol and debauchery neither of you seem to be capable of sweating, or in need of relieving your bodily functions. This is not a medical emergency-it just means that thankfully for your furniture, you're not in a Judd Apatow or Farrelly Brothers movie.

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3
The First Few Weeks

Ensure that your lady friend has not been receiving threatening phone calls recently. If she has, you are not in a romantic comedy, but a thriller, and must not break up with her lest you be viciously murdered. By staying with her you can delay your inevitable vicious murder for up to 40 minutes.

If Hugh Grant arrives, do not attempt to compete with him-you are no match for his British accent and awkward, fumbling charm.

Should Tom Green appear, leave the area immediately. You want no part in anything that follows for any price.

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4
The Inevitable Crisis/Temporary Break-up

Ensure you have reliable cellphone coverage to avoid a hilariously mistimed lost call leading to misunderstandings and a breakup that will take weeks to repair. Strangely, the thought of being better off without a woman who hysterically dumps you over a single phone call will not occur to you.

Should your visiting sister be desperately grief-stricken because her husband has been crushed under an alligator and all five of her quintuplet children have cancer, the closest you are allowed to come while consoling her is shouting advice from across the room. Any closer and your girlfriend will witness and somehow completely misread the situation.

Ignore any and all advice from your hilarious male friends. Amazingly, the keen tactical minds that assist you in chugging tequila while handstanding over a stripper are not well-suited to subtle emotional situations.

If you suspect you may be written by Kevin Smith, ON NO ACCOUNT make ANY daring or desperate attempts to save the affair. It will turn out to be the worst relationship rescue idea since Hitler said, "Come on, Eva, let's go to my bunker for a few days until all this blows over." Just buy some roses and hope for the best.

Should you find Eugene Levy giving you paternal relationship advice, please check to ensure you haven't made this exact same movie four times already.

In the event your lover claims she faked her orgasms, do not dispute this statement, as this runs the risk of reminding people that Billy Crystal has had sex-a mental image that causes permanent damage. The correct tactical response to the "I faked my orgasms" gambit is the "Like I cared" maneuver.

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5
The Long Term

It is considered rude to point out that your partner's friends are an utterly unbelievable combination of stereotypes who wouldn't spend five minutes together in real life unless trapped in an elevator. After all, she is polite enough not to point out that your mates are a pack of one-dimensional clichés, or how it's odd that you have exactly one black friend who hangs out with you despite finding you and the rest of your friends' taste in clothing and music totally ridiculous.

Should you require privacy, initiate sex with your partner-the camera crew will depart the instant male nudity is unavoidable and not return until you are lying facing each other with your heads on the pillows. This means that unorthodox sexual positions not involving the bed-like "The Wallbanger", "The Tablebreaker" and "The Mongolian Cluster Squat"-are unsuitable. If your lady does consent to these positions, be warned that you are NOT in a romantic comedy and the camera crew is most certainly still there.

Follow this advice and your relationship should be as trouble-free and enjoyable as comic timing will allow. But remember: No matter how perfectly things seem to be wrapped up, there will always be new problems (if there's money in a sequel).

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